Yes, West Coast Park has an amazing playground. But while that's not an option right now, this green space is still a great place to let the kids burn off some steam.
Thought West Coast Park was just about the fabulous (but perhaps not-so Covid-19 friendly) playground? Think again! Here’s our action-packed guide to the other amazing outdoor goings on in this neck of the woods. If you’re looking to get your daily dose of exercise in during the ‘circuit breaker’ times, away from the crowds, then read on. Better still, it’s social-distancing approved: just keep moving. Winner.
The lowdown on West Coast Park
If you live in Singapore’s west, then there’s every chance you’ll already be a regular at West Coast Park (crikey, we feel like it’s our second home!). Even if you’re not a Westie, you’ll no doubt have heard of the park as being Singapore’s best in the west. We’re in agreement on this one – it takes some topping as far as kiddie hangouts go and makes for a great pram-friendly walk, too.
In non-Covid-19 times, THE place to be is of course the playground – it’s no exaggeration to say it’s AMAZING (see below for the full lowdown). Playgrounds may be a bit of a no-go these days, but that’s okay – West Coast Park still has loads to offer. It ticks all the boxes when it comes to social distancing (yay!), with plenty of green space (50 hectares no less), making it one of our faves for outdoor fun and a daily dose of exercise. Our advice? Keep moving and no loitering. Save your long, leisurely day trips for after this whole Covid-19 is over!
Here’s our rundown of the best bits…
The “grand” lawn
OK, it’s maybe not the official name, but either way it’s accurate. This large, open grassy space is our top pick for ball games, cartwheels… you name it. It’s also the best spot for flying kites (when times are better). Note: there’s limited shade so head here early or opt for the tree-lined edges. Oh, and remember that sunscreen – we’re absolute sticklers for sun safety!
Look out for wildlife!
West Coast Park is nestled between the West Coast Highway and the port, which score terribly in the beauty stakes. Despite that, the park itself is home to loads of cool, local wildlife. Get through the park’s gates and its ugly neighbours are soon forgotten. We especially love the twisty tree walkways at the start of the park, near the Pasir Panjang Wholesale entrance. The monkeys seem to agree and are regular visitors here. Monkeys are always a sure-fire hit with the mini squad; just make sure everyone is waving from afar! If you’re lucky, you might even spot a hornbill or two.
Marsh Gardens hideaway
Keeping with the wildlife theme, the best hidden gem in the park – hands down – is the Marsh Gardens. At the opposite end to Pasir Panjang Wholesalers, this place is always quiet… a big social distancing yes! The gardens offer a boardwalk leading to a small lake and jetty, which is great for terrapin spotting. It’s sure to keep kiddos entertained as you walk on through!
Sand pits galore
Although we’re all giving the playground a wide berth right now (sob), there are still plenty of other activities at West Coast Park to keep all the fam busy. It might not have the beaches of its East Coast Park sister, but it does have some great (and spread out) sandy areas prime for castle-building. One is technically a volleyball court (great for the older kids), but we can’t wait to use it as a massive sand pit when things improve.
Boats, boats and more boats
Although we’re obviously big West Coast Park fans, we’ll admit it doesn’t quite have the Insta-worthy vistas of the East. But what it lacks in palm trees it makes up for in boats! And who doesn’t love a game of boat I-spy?! (Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.) Those industrial views are great for little ones, with boats of all shapes and sizes to spot. It’s best not to hang around during the circuit breaker, but you can play a quick round as you walk on by!
Dogs are welcome!
Dog owners rejoice! If you’re bringing your four-legged friend out for some exercise too, then check out the dog run at the Pasir Panjang end of the park. This is the perfect canine haunt and is sure to impress dog-loving littlies too with its array of doggy pals.
Keep it moving
Apart from walking, the wide, open pathways here are ideal for scooting. Once things settle down Covid-19-wise, you can also consider hiring a bike. Go Cycling offers a range of options, including kids’ bikes, ones with baby seats and even tandems. The park is relatively flat, too, so it’s perfect for all fitness levels.
A note on the playgrounds…
With Covid-19 limiting our playground plans, it’s probs best to view West Coast Park’s eight offerings (yes, eight!) from afar for the timebeing. That said, we couldn’t not give it a mention – at least then you’re all prepped for when things get a bit more normal.
For the little ones
As well as a dedicated toddler zone complete with fire engine and percussion wall (who’s toddler doesn’t love making a noise?!), there’s also sand pits galore. Buckets and spades are compulsory. If that wasn’t enough, there are two ships for nautical-themed adventures. Go back in time with a Viking discovery or channel your best pirate impression on the Jolly Rodger. And let’s not forget the humble swing (always a big tick in our book).
One of our favourite areas here is the blue slide zone. As well as being a fab play structure with slides and climbing frames aplenty, it also benefits from the shade early in the day. This space has been specifically designed so it’s accessible for all and wheelchair-friendly, too.
For the older kids
Again, park this info for post-Covid-19, but older kids will go nuts over the gigantic climbing frame and slide combo. It’s THE play structure in West Coast Park. We’ve even been tempted to give it a go (all in the name of research, obvs). There’s also zip lines, an assault course and balancing beams galore to explore here.
Food and drink pitstop
Sadly, there’s not a lot in the way of food options at West Coast Park beyond McDonald’s. So, if you can’t live with the burger guilt, we’d recommend coming prepared with a picnic. Or just going back home, obvs! On the upside, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to places to set up your feast. There are also BBQ pits if a picnic won’t cut it, although these are closed right now. Didn’t come prepared? Head to Kith, just a short stroll away. Get your coffee to go and throw in a banana bread for good measure – it’s the best (just check it’s still open for takeaway, of course!).
We recommend only heading there right now if it’s your ‘hood anyway – you don’t want to be travelling unnecessarily during these uncertain times.
So, there you have it. A quick spot of exercise for the whole West-residing household at West Coast Park. Enjoy!
Top image: Choo Yut Shing